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A Mountain...

I often comment that I am "not going to paint those darn mountains." Living in Central Oregon, and especially having a view of the wonderful Cascades, I am afraid I both take them for granted, and often despair that they are the subject matter that all tourists want to buy...but this scene of Mt. Hood, from Hood River (I was there recently and last year for the plein air paint out) was too majestic not to be painted. Mountains have their own challenges in painting...and I really felt both challenged and inspired painting this view. I remember the breathtaking view and how the mountain just seemed to overpower the foreground.
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Repainted in just a day...

I have had a painting of Summer Lake (east of Bend Oregon), one of my favorite sites hanging around my studio for several months. I just kept looking at it and realizing that it was not "right." Then I happened to be looking through one of my books on the California tonalist painters of the early part of the last century and voila...complete color change...really toned down my pallet...and focused on that little bit of dramatic light at the end of day. A true 20th century tonalist might have painted the sky completely yellow or even yellow and an ocher...but I wanted to stay fairly true to the site I was painting.
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Learning from theTonalists...

I have been preparing for a September show. I find that if I follow one theme (or assignment) my work has a coherent look and I also really learn. However, sometimes one just has to step back and ask for help. Luckily I live with someone who though he has never painted has looked at enough paintings to recognize what is amiss. I had worked on this scene from a neighbor's place for quite awhile...never posted it as it was always "off." When I asked my husband to tell me what he saw, he said that "it is all the same shade." (Well, he meant "value"...didn't get the art term right, but nailed the problem!
One day of rework and really darkening the foreground and middle distance allowed the painting to focus. It was all about the light cast on the river by the sunset...and now it looks like that.
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Deschutes Near Warm Springs, Late Autumn

Dear friends of ours have a home on a unique stretch of the Deschutes River...late one afternoon, in November, after the first snowfall I was there in time to capture this image. Will likely go back tomorrow or the next day and apply a critical eye and make some corrections. However, it does fit in with my collection of paintings for my fall show at Tumalo Gallery. I am trying to have all the paintings be reflections of the magic hour...that hour just before or just after sunset. (Or before and after dawn.) Finding this a real challenge...first to be at the right spot at the right time...but also to mute my pallet...but since this is one of my current goals, it is a good challenge.
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Back to Reality...

Well, winning a prize is great, but time to work on more painting. My whole goal in painting is to become a better and better painter...and that is only achieved by painting. Here is one I completed today. It is called "End of Summer," and is from a photo I took of a dock on a small lake...I wanted to capture the feeling one gets at the end of summer...the realization that that crispness in the air, while refreshing is a harbinger of fall and winter. It has been such a long cold spring and now summer here, that I wonder if I am ever going to feel sated by summer.
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I have spent the last week in Los Gatos, California (at the 2011 Los Gatos Plein Air Show)...a beautiful town surrounded by great landscape...normally this would be a plein air painter's heaven. But it has rained every day, and when not raining there has been really flat light. Whew the challenge! Also, I was a bit bummed because in viewing the work by other artists last night at the opening gala I graded myself as in the lower third of the pack. OK, this is not what art is about...but... Well, there were some wonderfully talented painters, who really knew how to paint a work the drew the viewer in...the colors, values, etc. were spectacular.
However, the show is wonderfully run, and I was having a generally good time, despite the weather and being able to only complete 4 paintings. So I took a break from the outdoor show (under tents!!!) to buy a weather proof poncho and upon my return, found that I HAD WON BEST IN SHOW!!!! AND SOLD 3 OF MY 4 PAINTINGS!!!... Wow! I would be having champagne right now, but am recovering from "drowning my sorrows" when feeling a bit under talented at the reception last night. So I am celebrating with a nice Perrier!
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